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Essentially, I want to know how to run 2 (or more) find commands in one - an "or" search rather than an "and":

find . -name "*.pem"
find . -name "*.crt"

marked as duplicate by Christopher, Jeff Schaller, Mr Shunz, Thomas, msp9011 Jan 25 at 10:55

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find’s “or” operator is -o:

find . -name "*.pem" -o -name "*.crt"

It is short-circuiting, i.e. the second part will only be evaluated if the first part is false: a file which matches *.pem won’t be tested against *.crt.

-o has lower precedence than “and”, whether explicit (-a) or implicit; if you’re combining operators you might need to wrap the “or” part with parentheses:

find . \( -name "*.pem" -o -name "*.crt" \) -print

In my tests this is significantly faster than using a regular expression, as you might expect (regular expressions are more expensive to test than globs, and -regex tests the full path, not only the file name as -name does).

  • Even better. Simpler and easier to remember. – BrowncoatOkie Jan 24 at 14:16

While I was typing up this question, it occurred to me that find uses globbing rather than regex by default. But I bet there's a way to use regex!

Sure enough...I had to change the regextype to use posix-extended but that got me what I wanted.

find . -regextype posix-extended -regex ".*pem|.*crt"


  • Run a couple of finds with time at the start to analyse whether you're faster using regex or wildcards. If you're searching over files might be worth using locate. – pbhj Jan 24 at 14:16
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    ".*pem|.*crt" finds a name that ends with pem or crt, not a file with those extensions. You'll need .*\.pem|.*\.crt for that. But using regex for this isn't a good method anyway – phuclv Jan 24 at 14:17
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    @phuclv Actually, since the expression is not anchored to the end of the pathname, it may match anywhere, even in a parent directory name. This is because -regex is applied to the whole pathname and because unanchored regular expressions may match anywhere in the given string. – Kusalananda Jan 24 at 14:49
  • Regular-expression matching is a non-standard extension provided by some, but not necessarily all, implementations of find. – chepner Jan 24 at 20:45
  • @TavianBarnes that has already been mentioned by Kusalananda above] – phuclv Jan 29 at 14:32

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